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Fragments of the Feminine Sublime in Friedrich Schlegel and James Joyce

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Overview

This is the first book to extensively study Joyce's work in the context of Germanic Romantic literary theory. It illustrates how Joyce's modern and postmodern innovation of the novel finds its theoretical roots in Friedrich Schlegel's conception of the Romantic, fragmentary novel. Verstraete discusses the relevance of Schlegel's early Romanticism to the young Joyce's essays on symbolic-realistic drama and argues that what has traditionally been described as Joyce's personal appropriation of Hegel's dialectics can better be understood in terms of Schlegel's ironic approach to philosophy. She relates Schlegel's concepts of irony and of the fragment to his feminist critique of nineteenth-century bourgeois art, and of Kant's categories of the beautiful and the sublime. She argues that Schlegel's ironization of the sublime yields a rhetorical subversion of the opposition between male artist and female model, art and reality, as well as between the sublime and the beautiful. Verstraete illustrates this critical and political force of what she calls the "feminine sublime" at work in Schlegel's essays on Greek comedy and in his novel Lucinde. The book demonstrates how the Romantic (feminine) sublime, as the site where autonomous art generates its own critique, offers us the tools with which to interpret Joyce's postmodern innovations of Romantic art.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
In support of her thesis that Joyce criticism fails to recognize that his aesthetic roots and gender politics owe more to Schlegel's Theory of the Fragment variant of early German Romanticism than to Hegel's dialectics, Verstraete (literature, Maastricht U., the Netherlands) dissects the dualities of male artist/female model, symbolism/realism, and the sublime/beautiful in Joyce's innovative novels: the romantic (), modern (), and postmodern (). Includes a list of works cited. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
1 Friedrich Schlegel's Theory of the Fragment 29
2 A History of the Sublime 37
3 Gender and Genre in Aristophanes 54
4 The Romantic Novel: Lucinde 64
5 From Addressing to Cross-Dressing: Some Afterthoughts on Lucinde 109
6 Joyce's Drama and the Conflicts of Realism 116
7 The Gender Politics of Joyce's Theory and Practice of Drama 134
8 "From the Sublime to the Ridiculous Is But a Step" 155
9 Medicine, Midwifery, and the Making of Childbirth: Horne's "Sublime Porte" in Ulysses 169
10 In the Wake of Criticism 190
Conclusion 215
Notes 221
List of Works Cited 253
Index 271
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